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Five out of 20 Billionaire American Dynasties are Jewish

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island

Five out of 20 billionaire American dynasties are Jewish. This is according to

The website explains that America’s wealthiest families continue to maintain their respective fortunes and that they are also able to grow even wealthier. Even long after the founding patriarch of the dynasty is forgotten, his legacy of immense wealth is carried down from generation to generation.

The wealthiest family in America is the Walton family, founders of the Walmart stores, whose fortune is a combined $247 billion.

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Other families on the list include the Cargill-MacMillan family with $47 billion, Cox Family with $34 billion, Busch Family with 17.5 billion, Du Pont Family with 16 billion, Hunt Family with 15.5 billion. Dorrance Family with 15 billion, Mellon Family with 11.5 billion, Johnson Family with $10.7 billion, and Rockefeller Family with $8.4 billion.

Estee Lauder Wikipedia
Estee Lauder with a customer in 1966

Lauder Family

This Jewish family has an estimated net worth of $40 billion.

Estée Lauder founded the cosmetic and makeup company with her husband, Joseph, in 1946, after creating skin treatments in her home.

She was the only woman in Time magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most geniuses of the 20th century.

The company owns 30 brands including Clinique MAC and Origins.

Despite the fact that the company is publicly traded, the Lauder family keeps 87 percent of the voting power held by six family members.

Estée Lauder’s son Leonard joined the company in 1958 and has spent more than three decades helping it grow into a $14.3 billion in 2020 sales.

Ronald Lauder, is a former US ambassador to Austria. His son Gary Lauder (worth $1 billion) is a Silicon Valley tech investment firm.

Aerin Lauder, Ronald’s eldest daughter, is the style and image director at Estée Lauder. Clinique is managed by his youngest daughter Jane.

Leonard’s son, William Lauder, is currently the company’s chairman, while his brother, Ronald, is the Clinique division’s chairman.

In 2013, Leonard Lauder donated his huge Cubist art collection, valued at more than $1 billion, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Newhouse family, Facebook.PNG -1
Newhouse family / Facebook

Newhouse family

Net worth $30 billion

The Newhouse’s wealth comes from the publishing business of the family patriarch Samuel (Sam) Irving Newhouse (d. 1979). Newhouse started his way working for the International News Service in Paris.

In 1964, his company Advance Publications became the publisher of Vogue in the United States, and in 1975, he became the chairman of Condé Nast. He bought the New Yorker in 1985.

Advance Publications also has significant holdings in Discovery Communications and the social news site Reddit.

Condé Nast International grew its portfolio of international editions — including Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Glamour. In the late 1990s and 2000s. The company runs approximately 125 magazines over 70 websites across international geographies.

The company’s media brands reach 72 million readers in print, 394 million online, and 454 million on social media.

The company also established Condé Nast entertainment, Condé Nast College of Fashion in London and invested in companies such as Rent the Runway and Moda Operandi.

Newhouse’s children are Samuel I. Newhouse III, Wynn Newhouse (died 2010), and Pamela Newhouse Mensch

Jay Pritzker Wikimedia commons
Jay Pritzker Wikimedia commons

Pritzker family

Net worth 11.4 billion

The Pritzkers, a powerful Chicago family, established the Hyatt Hotel chain. Jay Pritzker, Hyatt’s co-founder, stepped down in 1995. When he died in 1999, his family divided the company into 11 pieces, each worth $1.4 billion. In 2005, the family chose to settle a lawsuit brought by two family members, who allegedly earned $500 million apiece.

The Pritzkers have constantly been towards the top of Forbes’ list of “America’s Richest Families,” since its creation in 1982.

Hyatt’s chairman is Thomas Pritzker, and his son, Jason Pritzker, also serves on the company’s board.

Pritzker Group’s permanent capital base brings 

J.B. Pritzker who elected governor of Illinois in 2019, established in 1996 the Pritzker Group with Tom Pritzker. The company comprises three investment strategies: private capital, venture capital, and asset management. 

J.B sister, Penny Pritzker, served as Secretary of Commerce under the Obama administration.

Liesel Pritzker Simmons has created a name for herself as an impact investor after suing her father and the Pritzker family in 2002 (the family settled).

Many Pritzkers are renowned for their positions outside of the hotel industry.

Penny Pritzker former Secretary of Commerce served under President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017.

In 2019 her brother, Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker (D) was elected Governor of Illinois.

According to Inside Philanthropy, there are so many Pritzkers with so many different vehicles or foundations for their philanthropic giving that keeping track is tough.

William Bernard Ziff, Jr. 2002 Wikipedia
William Bernard Ziff, Jr. 2002

Ziff family

Net worth 15 billion

William Bernard Ziff Sr. partner with Bernard Davis (who later sold his shares to Ziff) and founded a publishing house called Ziff-Davis in 1927. When he died in 1953, his son William B. Ziff Jr., sold (1984) most of his magazine titles for $712.5 million. He still kept a handful of them, including PC Magazine, which he bought in 1982 and went on to become the industry’s bestselling journal.

In 1994, Ziff Jr. sold the hobbyist magazine publisher to Forstmann, Little & Company for $1.4 billion. The father had intended to pass on the business to his sons Dirk, Robert, and Daniel Ziff but they were uninterested. Instead, they established Ziff Brothers Investments in New York City, where they invested their inheritances broadly across equities, debt, real estate, commodities, private equity, and hedge funds.

They also gave fund manager Daniel Och seed money in exchange for a 10% interest in Och-Ziff Capital Management, which went public in 2007. Ziff Brothers Investments was disbanded in 2014, and the brothers now invest independently.

Och-Ziff has renamed Sculptor Capital Management.

The World Surf League, the major organization for professional surfers, is owned by Dirk Ziff.

Sackler Family
Sackler Family

Sackler Family

Net Worth $10.8 Billion

The Sacklers have been in the news in the last years for all the wrong reasons. Purdue Pharma, which was founded in 1952, is the source of the family’s vast fortune. However, in 1995 when the company has developed the pain killer OxyContin, they really launched into high gear. It is so addictive that it become a common drug of abuse. “Between 1995 and 2001, OxyContin generated $2.8 billion in revenue for Purdue Pharma.”

As the use of opioids becomes epidemic the Sackler family is now facing a barrage of bad news. Purdue Pharma agreed to a $600 million settlement in 2007 after admitting to misrepresenting OxyContin as being safer and less addictive than it was, and the business has been dogged by lawsuits ever since.

In 2018, Purdue Pharma developed a new version of buprenorphine which reduces cravings and is used to treat opiate addictions like OxyContin.

In September 2021 the company received approval for a $4.5 billion plan that will legally dissolve the pharmaceutical manufacturer and restructure it into a public benefit corporation focused on addressing the opioid crisis and compensating individuals and families who have been harmed by its products.

A settlement with the Sackler family, insurance money, and continued corporate activities will all be used to fund this restructure. All creditor claims against the Sacklers (who are not in bankruptcy), removing the family’s exposure to civil action over opioid addiction.

The statutory constraints on the issue are still being debated in Congress. 



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